Psychology Colloquium

Departmental Event

Start Date: Jan 28, 2022 - 09:00am
End Date: Jan 28, 2022 - 10:00am

Location: Logan Hall, room 125, and via Zoom

Dr. Monnica Williams, University of Ottawa, will present Cultivating Civil Courage.


In racialized societies, race divides people, prioritizes some groups over others, and directly impacts opportunities and outcomes in life. Racial problems cannot be corrected merely by good wishes of individuals – purposeful actions and interventions are required. To create equitable systems, civil courage is vital. Civil courage differs from other forms of courage, as it is directed at social change. People who demonstrate civil courage are aware of the negative consequences and social costs but choose to persist based on a moral imperative. After defining allyship and providing contemporary and historical examples of civil courage, this presentation explains the difficulties and impediments inherent in implementing racial justice based on her research. Dr. Williams will describe exercises based on cognitive and behavioral approaches to help individuals increase their awareness and ability to demonstrate racial justice allyship in alignment with valued behaviors. She explains how these approaches can be utilized, how they can help individuals grow, why they can be difficult, and how psychologists might make use of them.


Monnica Williams, Ph.D., is the Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa, where she conducts psychological research, mentors students, and teaches courses in multicultural psychology and psychopathology. She completed her undergraduate work at MIT and UCLA, and received her doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.  Dr. Williams was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania before her move to the University of Louisville in 2011, where she served as the Director for the Center for Mental Health Disparities. She also worked at the University of Connecticut for four years, where she had joint appointments in the Department of Psychological Science and Psychiatry.